Is there a secret recipe to open a bank account in Asia?

Is there a secret recipe to open a bank account in Asia?

Compliance process makes difficult and lengthy the process to open a bank account in Asia and the services providers are reluctant to provide a clear list of information and documents to be given.

Good and bad reasons could explain this reluctance to let the client understand what he will need to deliver in order to achieve the opening of a corporate bank account in Asia.

secret recipe to open a bank account in Asia

Bad reasons

The services providers are directing clients to Fintech or forex/remittance solutions because they are unable to obtain corporate bank accounts for their clients, instead of telling the truth from the beginning they prefer to secure a company incorporation first, then to talk about the complexities or decline support for the bank account opening.

Fintech and other non-traditional banking are NOT a solution for active SME’s, too much constraints in term of limitation of amounts, countries of operations and business models.

Because of the need for physical presence at bank account opening with most of the Financial Institutions, the services providers not having relationships with banks accepting onboarding interview by video conferencing are limited in their business development.

Last but not least a lot of Corporate Services Provider didn’t develop adequate in-house compliance team, their compliance suffices to match their AML obligations but isn’t ready to prolong the process for a bank account opening.

Good reasons

Each business profile is different, a compliance process couldn’t really be automated, it’s an evolution process influenced by numerous factors.

A list of documents to open a bank account in Asia will obviously not work for start-ups, a business plan is often not available or outdated and not providing the information needed by a bank.

And also the Corporate Services Provider businesses are impacted by the Covid , business owners are worried to be perceived themselves, and the compliance process they should prepare, as over-complicated.

Below a list to be discussed with your services provider and adapted to your situation.

For the Company which will open the bank account:

  1. Certificate of Incorporation
  2. Memorandum and articles of Association
  3. Register of Directors
  4. Register of Shareholders /members
  5. Latest business registration of certificate of Incumbency/good standing
  6. Three months bank statement copies
  7. Three copies of invoices to clients which were paid and are shown on the bank statements.
  8. Three copies of invoices from suppliers which were paid and are shown on the bank statements.

Additional information

  1. Website:
  2. Number of employees:
  3. Last 12 months turnover:
  4. Forecasted next 12 months turnover:
  5. Place of effective management:
  6. Countries of operations:

For each Directors and Individual shareholders:

  1. Passport Copy
  2. Latest Utility bill Copy, maximum 3 months old
  3. Updated resume (CV)
  4. If some Directors or Shareholders are entities the CSP should obtain the following documents until we reach individuals ownerships:
  5. Certificate of Incorporation
  6. Memorandum and articles of Association
  7. Register of Directors
  8. Register of Shareholders /members
  9. Latest business registration of certificate of Incumbency/good standing

Business activities

You should deliver a list of the three main clients and the three main suppliers, so a total of six names with the below information:

  1. Company name:
  2. Jurisdiction of Incorporation:
  3. Business Activities:
  4. Website:
  5. % of this partner in the total sales or the total purchases:
  6. Client or supplier/services provider since: 

If one of the six business partners is a related party kindly mention this fact and provide a copy of the latest agreement.

Open a bank account in Asia , as anywhere in the world , will be greatly facilitated by a Corporate Services Provider.


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